Friday Links


Okay, so we here at Abnormal Use love music, and we dig comics, but we’re a bit confused about Archie Meets the Ramones #1, the cover for which is depicted above. Released just a few days ago, the comic features Archie and friends meeting the Ramones (all of whom are dead). We understand there may be a time travel component to the series, so that makes some sense we suppose. We’ve already gotten our hands on an issue, and if there are additional curiosities to explore, we will let you know, dear readers.

We welcome Thomas Lamm, the brand new associate in our Charlotte office! Learn more about him here.

If you didn’t read this piece about Leonard Cohen from The New Yorker, you should probably do so.

For our legal tweet of the week, we direct your attention to this tweet from our editor thanking everyone for attending the Mecklenburg County Bar’s annual Halloween CLE (which he planned).

12 Steps Toward Fulfillment in the Practice of Law (Step 8)

Step 8 – “Just Say No” to Some Clients.

We are continuing our series on Judge Carl Horn’s 12 Step program for lawyers. In Step 8, Judge Horn begins with the proposition that there have been significant changes in lawyer-client relations, and generally, those have not been for the better. Many lawyers find that the lawyer-client relationship has become increasingly stressful and problematic. Many lawyers have recognized that their clients are increasingly demanding, and therefore, are now choosing their clients more carefully.  

Judge Horn refers to an ABA study which addressed the increased client influence over the pricing and execution of legal projects. This has become a major pressure point in the profession. Clients tend to be more project, than relationship, focused. Projects are often bid out to multiple firms rather than turning to one trusted counselor. Clients also demand fast turn around and 24/7 access to lawyers. Many clients want to be directly involved in the process; billing is more carefully scrutinized. There has also been a proliferation of formal billing guidelines and a lack of uniformity across the industry for those billing procedures.   

According to the ABA study, the results of these changes include more time and resources being spent on administrative tasks and relationship management. Lawyers have less control over the pace of work and less ability to escape the pressures of the job. There is often ambiguity as to what and how to bill. Lawyers often feel more like a “hired gun” rather than a respected counselor.  

Horn then cites a book by Walt Bachman, Law v. Life: What Lawyers are Afraid to Say About the Legal Profession. Bachman has a chapter titled “The APC Factor: The Truth About Clients.” The APC Factor stands for “Assholes Per Capita.” Bachman proposes a formula to determine the APC factor in a given situation. As Horn jokes, Bachman no doubt engaged in “highly sophisticated social science” and utilized his intellectual and academic skills sharpened during his years at Harvard on a Rhodes Scholarship to generate this formula.  


Tongue now firmly in check, Bachman proceeds to apply what we might call AA (Asshole Analysis), to the world of law. In the instance of American litigation clients, this formula would be more specifically stated as:


For example, if we take the total number of new litigation clients in America last year (say 2,000,000) and determine the number of those litigants independently and objectively determined to be assholes (say approximately 800,000), the APC Factor is derived as follows:


Conceding the need for further research, Bachman draws on his own experience and that of his lawyer friends to suggest an APC Factor for litigation clients “in the vicinity of .4 and rising”. Estimating the APC Factor for society at large as “closer to .1”, Bachman reaches the compelling conclusion that “the APC Factor for [litigation] clients is four times that of the overall populace”. Of course, it remains with each individual lawyer to decide how this seminal research should be applied to his or her practice!

Horn concludes by suggesting that we can increase the inherent satisfaction in the lawyer-client relationship by keeping in mind a few key principles. First, be scrupulously honest with our clients, including but not limited to the work we choose to do and how it is billed. Further, be careful not to cross ethical lines and to keep a measure of professional distance, particularly where an objective third party might see our client’s conduct as deceptive. Strive to provide wise counsel, which requires more of a “big picture” approach to problem solving and conflict resolution. Finally, perhaps applying Bachman’s brilliant AA, we should simply “just say no” to some clients.   

Next week, we will cover Step 9 – Stay Emotionally Healthy.  

Friday Links

So Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature? How about that? Unlike many, we will resist the urge to offer a pun using his lyrics. (We will note that his non-album single, “Positively Fourth Street,” remains conspicuously absent from Spotify).

Don’t forget that this weekend marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings!

When is the last time you said hello to us on Twitter? Follow and interact with us at @GWBLawfirm!

Our editor, Jim Dedman, has once again planned this year’s Mecklenburg County Bar Halloween CLE. Titled “Ghosts, Graves, and The Occasional Murder House: A Halloween CLE,” the event will be held this coming Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at The Rabbit Hole in Charlotte, North Carolina. Topics include cemetery law, “statutory horrors,” and the law of haunted houses. Attendees can earn up to 1.5 hours of CLE credit, although lawyers and non-lawyers alike can attend at a lower rate if no credit is sought. For more information on this program, please click here.

Friday Links

Take note, lawyers of South Carolina! Mandatory e-filing in the Court of Common Pleas will expand to include yet another county, this time Anderson County, on October 18.

One of our favorite podcasts, “Mystery Show,” now faces an uncertain future. If you’re note familiar with it, we’d highly encourage you to visit its archives (especially the compelling and emotionally affecting third episode).

Don’t forget that the Mecklenburg County Bar’s Small Firm Soiree is tomorrow night! Click here for details.

Our tweet of the week addresses music, not the law, but it is just as important (as it seeks to correct one of the day’s most pernicious malapropisms). Please, dear readers, take heed.

Friday Links

Don’t forget that tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind album, which was originally released on September 24, 1991! What existential musings that anniversary prompts! On Monday, our own Nick Farr will be providing his detailed thoughts on the anniversary and its meaning to him all of these years later. Don’t miss it!

Bruce Springsteen’s new memoirs, Born To Run, arrives in stores this week! We’re on it!

Why aren’t you following us on Twitter? Click here and join the conversation with us!

We here at Abnormal Use and Gallivan, White, & Boyd, P.A. is pleased to announce that Greenville attorney Duffie Powers and Columbia attorneys Grayson Smith and Breon Walker have been chosen as “Rising Stars Under 40” by Benchmark Litigation.

Friday Links

So you know that we are huge Bruce Springsteen fans, and so we must direct your attention to Caryn Rose’s “All 314 Bruce Springsteen Songs, Ranked From Worst to Best.” Dig in, folks, and be prepared to quibble. Of course, we would have placed “Thunder Road” at number one at “Backstreets” at number two, but that’s just us.

Five years ago this month, we published our obituary of R.E.M., which had then just announced its break-up. If you’d like to revisit that sad piece, you can do so by clicking here.

We here at Abnormal Use and Gallivan, White, & Boyd, P.A. welcome new attorneys Ashley Stratton and Jordan Crapps to the firm! Both will be working from our Columbia office.

For our favorite legal tweet of the week, we turn to the fierce debate over how many spaces belong after a period in the modern era. What do you think?

Friday Links

With no headphone jack, how can we purchase the new iPhone? This is an ethical dilemma indeed!

Our editor, Jim Dedman, has planned the Mecklenburg County Bar’s second annual Halloween CLE event. Called “Ghosts, Graves, and The Occasional Murder House: A Halloween CLE,” the event takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 19. For more information, please click here.

Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” single.

How long has it been since you revisited our Stella Liebeck McDonald’s hot coffee case FAQ?

Yesterday, we published the second post in Stuart Mauney’s “12 Steps Toward Fulfillment in the Practice of Law” series. If you’ve not been reading it, we’d encourage you to do so. A new post comes each Thursday.

Friday Links

Yesterday, we ran “12 Steps Toward Fulfillment in the Practice of Law (Step 1),” the first of a twelve part series by our own Stuart Mauney. That’s right, a 12 part series! Come back each Thursday for the next two months and we’ll keep you posted.

Are we the only one’s that don’t hate Jefferson Starship’s biggest single?

Did you see that Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against the makers of Grant Theft Auto was dismissed? We previously wrote about the suit here and here.

Of course, we are saddened by the death of beloved actor Gene Wilder. We can’t even begin to speculate how many times we saw Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in the 1980’s Just as Michael Keaton is our Batman, Wilder is our Wonka. Rest in peace, Mr. Wilder.

Friday Links

Believe it or not, but tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the release of Pearl Jam’s Ten, the band’s debut album which arrived in stores on August 27, 1991. Those were the days. More than a few of us here at Abnormal Use and Gallivan, White, & Boyd, P.A. have seen the band live over the years. We encourage everyone to spend just a bit of this weekend revisiting that album and its very fine songs “Alive” and “Black.” Early 1990’s alternative rock doesn’t get much better than that.

GWB attorney and current IADC President John T. Lay, Jr. was recently quoted in an article concerning a growing trend in the legal profession: Level Insurance.  If you’d like to read the article, please click here.

Don’t forget that you can follow us on Twitter at @GWBLawfirm! A number of our writers are also on Twitter, as well, including Jim Dedman (@JimDedman), Nick Farr (@NAFarr), Kyle White (@Kyle_J_White), and of course, Stuart Mauney (@StuartMauney).

One of us here at Abnormal Use is moving soon, and in light of that, our favorite tweet of the week comes from music critic Steven Hyden.

Friday Links

More than five years ago, we here at Abnormal Use compiled a list of songs about lawyers and judges. It was quite a feat! If you’re feeling nostalgic or wish to cite to a song about expert witnesses, revisit that list here!

Congratulations to GWB’s Greg Sloan who has been elected Eastern Regional Vice President for the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.  The Eastern Region is the largest region of the NARTC with 25 states.

Okay, so who has watched “Stranger Things” on Netflix?

Our favorite tweet of late, from our own Stuart Mauney, deals with the perils of email and vacation.